SEATTLE — Gary Sanchez keeps making history.
The rookie catcher was named the AL player of the week Monday for the period ending Aug. 21 after going 11-for-21 (.524) with four homers, six RBIs, two doubles, four runs and a steal. Sanchez — who hit a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the sixth on Monday night against the Mariners, giving him eight homers in 60 at-bats since his call-up — became the first Yankees catcher to win the award since Thurman Munson on July 25, 1976. They are the only two Yankees catchers so honored.
“That’s pretty impressive,” Joe Girardi said. “Obviously, we’ve seen what he’s done in the weeks that he’s been here, and he’s been really impressive.”
Entering Monday night, in 15 games since his call-up — he became part of the everyday lineup, primarily at catcher, on Aug. 3 — Sanchez compiled a .386/.435/.789 slash line with six homers and 12 RBIs. Eleven of his 22 hits were for extra bases.
Though Robinson Cano got to meet Sanchez only briefly at the Yankees’ minor-league complex in spring training during his time with the club, the Mariners second baseman has kept tabs on the 23-year-old.
“All I hear from the guys is he’s a great kid,” Cano said. “And I can see he can swing. He’s got power.”
Monday night made 11 starts out of 16 games for Sanchez at catcher and six of the last seven. “He’ll get tomorrow or Wednesday off, I haven’t decided yet which one I’ll give to him,” Girardi said. “I think it’s important that he catches day games after night games because I think he’s capable of doing it. I think it’s important that he plays [multiple] days in a row because he’s capable of doing that as well. He gets to go through the rotation, in a sense. I think that’s important, too.”
CC trying to right ship
After posting a 2.20 ERA through his first 11 starts of the season, CC Sabathia, Tuesday night’s scheduled starter, produced a 6.78 ERA in his next 11 outings. “I have not seen a huge difference, I haven’t,” Girardi said. “It comes down to a pitch or two here and there. For him, it’s eliminating the mistakes and us playing better defense.”